Dean’s Cake House
Every cake is homemade — baked and iced individually — at Dean’s Cake House located in Andalusia, Ala., which is exactly what you’d expect from a venue famously known for the best cakes in the south. And conveniently, also known for making for a great pit stop on the way to the beach.
Owner Dean Jacobs is your quintessential southern grandmother. As a young mother, Dean took a job working at the local grocery store at a time when employees were given stock in the company. For years she worked the cash register until a spot opened in the deli. She realized other grocers were selling fresh cakes, so she started baking and selling her cakes at the grocery store. Word spread quickly and Dean’s cakes flew off the shelf - so she sold decades worth of grocery store stock, gathered some friends, and opened her own bakery at age 60. Thus, Dean’s Cake House was born.
Jacobs’ budding company started in a little building south of town where word about her delicious products quickly out-paced square footage. While most were after her chocolate cake, customer support served as a catalyst to expanded the menu to include caramel, coconut, lemon, and more.
She moved to a bigger building, expanded her product line to include cookies, pies, and more, and the people kept coming.
Now Jacobs ships hundreds of cakes a day to grocery stores throughout the southeast. Around the holidays demand is so high that it’s impossible for her staff of 18 to keep up.
It’s important to note you won’t find any assembly line machines or shortcuts here. Dean calls her staff “the girls,” and most are over age 60. They divide labor — one greases pans, one pours batter, one slips them into the ovens, and so forth — and they hustle.
“It’s the only thing we’ve got going for us. People know a real person makes every cake. You can taste it.”
She says she never expected any of this and still struggles to understand it. She has rarely left Covington County and admits, “I haven’t even seen all of the county yet.”